Ministers from Mediterranean countries and parties contracted to the Barcelona Convention, today renewed their commitment to enhance measures to reduce pressures on their marine and coastal environment through the Athens Declarations.
During a high level event of the Barcelona Convention CoP 19 meeting, hosted this week by the Greek Government in Athens, Ministers endorsed the new text of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development and its Action Plan 2016-2021.
This 6-year Action Plan aims at to tackling the existing and emerging environmental challenges of the Mediterranean such as prevent pollution from maritime transport, marine exploration, and land-based activities, protect biodiversity, manage coastal zones, and increase the resilience of the region to climate change impacts. The document not only propose actions but also identifies who should contribute to their implementation, highlighting the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations in addition to governments’ actions.
The meeting coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan (PAM)-Barcelona Convention.
The director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Antonio Troya congratulated PAM/Barcelona Convention for serving as a model for the 12 subsequent Regional Seas cooperation frameworks around the world, representing one of the most advanced legal regimes worldwide for the protection of marine and coastal environment. During his speech addressing the Assembly, Mr. Troya underscored “the Mediterranean Action Plan needs to adapt to the new challenges, environmental and socio-economic, that the region is facing and to reinforce the collaboration mechanism between civil society and governments”. He reinterred the IUCN’s support and commitment to collaborate with the PAM for a more sustainable Mediterranean.
During the meeting, two memoranda of understanding (MoU) were also signed with the Black Sea Convention and ACCOBAMS secretariats respectively. UNEP/MAP and Black Sea Convention agreed to cooperate in the collection and assessment of information relating to integrated marine monitoring programmes, to ecosystem-based approach and to the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management protocols.
With ACCOBAMS, UNEP/MAP agreed to cooperate on the collection and assessment of information relating to the conservation of cetaceans, and the identification, protection and management of marine areas of particular importance for them and to promote the ecosystem based approaches for the conservation of marine environment and ecosystems.
For further information: Alain Jeudy